June 29th, 2007 was a big day as Apple’s iPhone (otherwise known as the “Jesus Phone”) sold for the first time. After that, the rest was history. Nothing has been the same since. With its touch screen capabilities, allowing consumers to type at ease, without punching the daylights out of a BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard (or until you find you’ve been auto-corrected). Apple has gone on to sell 1.1 billion iPhones in ten years.
The iPhone has caused change, flipping things upside down.
Here is how the iPhone has (in)directly made an impact.
Opening up Smartphone Choice and Leapfrogging Past Old Infrastructure: After iPhone’s launch, we saw an explosion of companies get into the game. Google released its Android mobile operating system to counteract Apple’s operating system iOS. Then manufacturers Samsung, Sony, LG, wanted a piece of the action. Apple and Samsung today are constantly jockeying for the top position in the smartphone universe. Even an Indian manufacturer was able to produce a smartphone at a cost of $32.00. This is critical, considering there will be 4.1 billion users globally in 2020. Many of these new users will come from developing nations, who initially had limited to no Internet infrastructure.
There’s an App for That: Before the iPhone, it was more common for people to refer to apps regarding filling out job or credit card applications. Now you can not go without a day using mobile apps on your smartphone. Mobile apps took off when Apple launched its iPhone App Store in July 2008. It created new markets for IT developers who were looking to expand entrepreneurial opportunities outside of standard computing software. After Apple’s App store, came Google Play, which serves as Android mobile app store. The app economy is only expected to grow. Analysts predict by 2020, the mobile app economy to reach $101 billion. According to c/net there are over 2 million apps now in the App store and “have spawned industries that couldn’t exist without smartphones,” naming car-sharing services Uber and Lyft.
Social Media Becomes More Social: While social media was here before the iPhone with MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, iPhone’s launch helped create a breeding ground for how we know social media now. Facebook posts, tweets are now instantaneous, thanks to the iPhone. Mobile social media helped cover major events this decade faster than major news networks, including the Haiti Earthquake, Arab Spring, And the 2013 Alberta Floods.
However, with all good things, there has been some negative consequences with increased mobile social media use. It’s raised red flags amongst cyber security experts. Future Crimes author Marc Goodman suggests consumers are increasing their vulnerability, thanks to data given away freely on social media sites, and mobile apps.
Mobile Apps lead the Path to a Smart and Connected World: As c/net pointed out, without the App’s store, these industries may not exist. The iPhone indirectly made mobile computing accessible to the common folk. Smartphone apps now make it easier for homes to become “smart.” From smart thermostats, including Google’s Nest, to Phillips Hue, a wireless controlled LED light bulb flows in between ubiquitous Internet connection, thanks to Wi-Fi and cell towers. It’s now possible, in 2017 to monitor your house’s heat, lighting, and find how much solar energy you are producing and consuming– all on your smartphone! This is big for consumers who are all in on the energy efficiency train.
Smart homes are only expected to increase in stature as more web-based devices increase with the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT). Projections by 2020 have a total between 30.7 –50 billion connected device on the Internet, while IoT market value is expected to reach $267 billion globally.
It’s hard to believe the iPhone has been around for a decade. No one should ever give Apple credit for creating smartphones, social media, or smart devices.
However, by tweaking and improving the smartphone with the iPhone, its help to entice competitors into smartphone markets, and give more choices to consumers; penetrate the mobile app market; make social media what it is today, and pave a path for Internet-connected devices which make our homes smart. The spillover benefits from the iPhone were the legacy of Steve Jobs iconic contribution to mobile phones.
Happy 10th birthday, iPhone. The world will never be the same again.